4 Happiness Hacks You Can Do on Your Commute
The quest for happiness is complex, but these easy ideas to jumpstart your joy gene are anything but. Do these four things on your way to the office, and you'll arrive feeling happier and ready to take on the tasks that lie ahead.
There are many things that can cause you to start your day off on the wrong foot (Hitting the snooze too much! Having “nothing to wear”! That darn public transportation!), but there are many ways to get it back on the right one. Below, four happiness hacks you can do on your journey to the office that are sure to put you in a cheery mood.
(Also, here are ways to stress less and be happier all day long.)
1. Keep a diary.
Brain scans have shown that jotting down your feelings reduces activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for controlling the intensity of your emotions. This means that you can overcome negative emotions more quickly and with more clarity, which can prevent them from distracting you throughout the day. Keeping a diary is also great for kids to do before they start school to ensure they have a happy school year.
2. Grab a coffee for a colleague.
When you pop into the local coffee shop for your morning cup of joe, consider ordering an extra one for a colleague. A 2010 study from Harvard Business School found that those who spend their money altruistically have the greatest happiness overall. (Also, learn all the ways you can make your coffee healthier.)
3. Pump up the jams.
Put in your AirPods and hit play on the Billie Eilish album. One study showed that music can decrease stress and increase happiness. (Did you know listening to music while you work out has many benefits as well?)
4. Find a furry fido.
Walking to work? Stop and—pet the pooches. Research has found that petting a dog for just 15 minutes releases happiness hormones (serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin) and lowers stress hormones (like cortisol). (Psst: Did you know dogs are good for kids’ health?)
Next, learn the lessons from the Yale Happiness course.